Review: The Gifted 1.11 “3×1”

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How has it been 3 weeks since we caught up with the Mutant Underground? When we last left the Struckers they had managed to escape the facility where Rodrick Campbell was holding his mutant “projects”. After Lauren and Andy demonstrated their abilities (and included some pretty neat easter eggs) The Struckers were saved by Esme, a telepath with three incredibly striking sisters. That episode gave fans a lot, from a Logan easter egg to introducing the Stepford Cuckoos, Emma Frost’s “children”.

The winter premiere added quite a bit more knowledge to the world that Matt Nix and the Gifted writers are building (also I mean, can we talk about the return of Wes? I need to talk about Wes.) as well as setting it up for a heck of a finale. Now The Gifted is off next week but you’re going to want to tune in January 15th for episodes 12 and 13! Ready to get caught up? Let’s talk ‘3×1’!

A TALE OF TWO FUNERALS

The episode’s cold open may take us into Blink’s past, showcasing just what mutants have had to endure at the hands of humans (and it all feels far too real for our favorite portal-creator) but it picks up in the present day directly in the aftermath of Dreamer’s and Agent Wilkens’s death. The writers show the similarities and differences between the mutant underground and sentinel services as they bury their dead and promise revenge on the living. It’s important to note that Emma Dumont’s Lorna Dane shares that Dreamer could have “passed for human” her whole life. Instead, she chose to be with her mutant family.

Questions of humanity will have to wait however as the Struckers, reeling from their time incarcerated with Doctor Campbell, make the tough decision to leave the mutant underground as we know it and make their way to Mexico. While they promise to not give up the fight, both Andy and Lauren find the reason to stay. Lauren reunites with Wes, the young mirage-maker (WesLauren? Les? We need ship names!) and Andy learns that he might have some more people invested in teaching him how to be strong beyond his father-but are the Frost Triplets friend or foe?

The Frost triplets are the best part of an episode that basically sets up the finale. Skyler Samuels delivers ice cool acting and cold sass on 3 separate fronts. Esme, Sophie, and Phoebe (thank you @AlsoPurple on twitter for pointing that out to me!) are acting on behalf of a mysterious figure who can generate diamonds. Is he tied to Jermaine Rivers’s Shatter? (one hopes!) what are his intentions? Whatever they are they seemingly align with the mutant underground for the moment because it’s time to take down Campbell and his goons once and for all…

 

CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE HOUNDS OF WAR

A large chunk of the episode has to do with Jace Turner who’s temporary turn from the dark side was interrupted by the Frost Triplets ripping apart his friends from the inside out. Despite Turner’s wife’s passionate plea, it’s clear he’s made up his mind when Campbell showcases his latest mutant project-literally fusing two mutants together who are hooked on his special cocktail of drugs. You can get an idea of just what that looks like up above as the mutants, shackled together, combine their abilities like the Frost twins and the Strucker siblings to create quite a bit of chaos.

Campbell ends up testing this in the field with Turner’s blessing, tearing into the mutant safehouse that the Struckers had occupied. Wes tries to save them and ends up weakening himself, but they all escape – thanks to the Frost triplets. ESP saves the day once again, but for how long and to what end? We have a few more questions before January 15th’s Finale but thankfully we have some answers…

 

IT’S TIME FOR A SHOWDOWN

This episode was essentially the prelude to the finale, the final assault on sentinel services (and the introduction of a second, or perhaps a secondary big bad for season two?) with the hellfire club. Full of Easter Eggs and new connections between the characters it was a bit slower paced then previous episodes but it had a number of things to make it charming and exciting for both long-time X-men fans and fans of the show new to the mythology. Everybody delivered stand out performances and the VFX and around Skyler Samuels’s triple performance was incredible. Campbell was shown to be deranged, Turner has finally picked a side, and the show seems intent on both building on the previous lore and building up its own connections.

While the pace might bother some as well as the sudden connections, it’s building to something much bigger. For a fledgling show, The Gifted has certainly found it’s wings and looks to be flying toward a smashing finale!

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • Lorna dropped that her dad was a pilot who died in a car wreck, the hellfire club disagrees. Is Fassbender available for a cameo?
  • I love that this is a show about legacy. Essentially who lives, who dies, and who tells your story to the ones who are left behind.
  • Lorna’s baby is getting awfully powerful and setting itself up to be a big part of the second season. Just what effect it has on the mistress of magnetism remains to be seen but Emma Dumont is giving one heck of a performance.
  • The subtle line about knowing what a bipolar episode feels like hit me square in the feelings and I’ll sing it to the rooftops. Thank you The Gifted for showing that people who live with that disorder can be heroic.

Did you like it? Hate “3×1”? Sound off and share your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to tune into The Gifted’s 2-hour finale “eXtraction and “x-roads”!

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